Sunday, May 20, 2007

Crime of the Century


My mom's German, and I've only been to Germany 3 times: at age 4, at age 12, and then at age 17. I'm 41 now and, while officially a dual citizen of both the US and of Germany, I haven't been back. Not by choice, but just 'cause I haven't had anyone to go back and see it with.

I don't remember much about the age-4 and age-17 visits, but the 12-year-old one... It was the summer after my 6th grade school year, and my mom and us two kids were going for 6 weeks because my father had been attacking my mother on a regular basis, and this was seen as a "time out." (Before we left, I remember my father saying to my mother, "I hope your plane crashes.")

When I've seen Germany at age 12 and age 17, I've loved it. An absolutely beautiful country. I remember in '77 being completely depressed at coming home from Germany's lushness to the harsh summertime yellow of Texas, and the ugly tires by the road...

What I also remember from that '77 visit... I loved the Bay City Rollers and had pictures of me wearing plaid and holding "Bravo" magazines with the BCR on the cover, as well as shots of the BCR on German TV. And my mom bought my cousin Suzi a Kris Kristofferson album, which my cousin put aside so she could listen to Supertramp's "Crime of the Century" on end. "Dreamer." "Bloody Well Right." I can still hear those songs today, and remember thinking how weird they were at the time. (Little asshole that I was, I told my mom: "She doesn't like your Kris Kristofferson album.")

I also remember my 6-year-old brother crying in his bedroom in Germany because he was homesick and missed his father. Darkly, I crouched outside his door and hissed "SHUT UP"!!!!!!!!

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